The man believed to be America’s most prolific serial killer has died, aged 80. Samuel Little, from Los Angeles, was serving three life sentences without parole for the murder of three women in the 1980s, but throughout his time in prison, he confessed to a further 93 murders between the 1970s and 2005, all of which the FBI have deemed credible and 50 of which have been verified. He died on Wednesday, December 30, in the hospital, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced.
- Little spent plenty of time behind bars before his murder conviction. Records show Little had been arrested 26 times in 11 states in the years leading up to his 2014 conviction for first-degree murder. That final conviction was only possible thanks to DNA evidence from the crime scene that matched Little’s.
- He targeted vulnerable people. BBC News reports that Little, who was once a competitive boxer, targeted vulnerable victims such as sex workers and drug users. He would punch them to knock them out before strangling them, sidestepping obvious signs of murder and allowing him to evade detection since the victims were assumed to have died of other causes.
- Little believed he was invincible. He committed murders with impunity over the years, assuming he was too slick to ever get caught. “For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” said ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo. She added: “The FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim — to close every case possible.” He drew detailed pictures of his victims for the FBI over the years, which the agency released in the hopes of identifying them.